A Year in Review

The crickets have been chirping in the corners of this blog, I know. So much has transpired this summer that I frequently find myself expressing thanks for the fact that my head is firmly attached to my shoulders so I do not have to worry about that, too.

When we bought our little house on the hillside last summer, we knew my Dad had aspirations of a New England retirement, but the details were speculative and fuzzy. This past Spring, discussions began in earnest as to how we would incorporate my Dad into our life here in Vermont. Our lot is a long rectangle on a fairly steep slope, so options for building my Dad a tiny house on the property were limited and the most reasonable option would have put his house right on the boundary line of our own property and terribly close to our neighbors’ house (who we adore, mind you, but neighbors do change).

Expanding the garage into an apartment was another option, but would have required extensive renovation and new permitting for the septic system. Finishing the basement into an apartment was another idea, but without a walk-in entrance, or ground-level windows, that option was less than ideal. There was also a vacant lot abutting our own about halfway down the north side of our property that would have been perfect for my Dad because it had its own entrance on the street and there was abundant space and privacy for his home but, alas, neighborhood intel confirmed that the owner of that lot had absolutely no interest in selling it for a price that was anywhere near reasonable, if at all.

We were running out of options and ideas, so we started looking again at the real estate market to see what it might have to offer by way of alternatives. With great irony, the first prospective house that I found online, and the first house that we went to see, was the one we’re all in today. Well, Travis and I are here. My Dad is like a summer blockbuster: COMING SOON.


Our new house is about 45 minutes from our little house on the hillside, and it has a sunny in-law apartment for my Dad above the garage (but with it’s own drive-up entrance), and a home for Travis and I to raise our own family. We were both able to keep our jobs, and fairly similar commutes, and its closer to Travis’ graduate school.

It’s not easy to part with my first home; there have been so many wonderful memories in just one year alone! The original owners were amazing, and I hope they are loving life in Arizona, and our neighbors are great. This home is where I made applesauce for the first time with apples from our orchard; drank in every sunset I could; fell in love with the magic of a wood-burning stove; and felt the pressure of felling, cutting, splitting and stacking enough wood for the coming winter, and the next. It’s been incredible.

moving truckAnd to think how much has happened in just one year! Wow. On July 29, we packed a 26 foot long rental truck, towing a dolly with Travis’ car, and followed it with my Dad’s old GMC (no AC or working windshield wipers made for a fun drive) and headed North. We split the drive over two days and made it to Vermont in one piece. And neither truck broke. A miracle, really.

We closed on our little house on July 31, and unpacked our trucks that weekend. We had the most gorgIMG_4583eous weather on the day of closing, and after signing all of the papers, we went out to lunch with the owners to this taco place in Montpelier. They were amazing, even leaving us some clean dishes, towels, sheets and extra cleaning supplies so we wouldn’t have to go digging for everything on our first night there. It was the most joyful, thoughtful and kind real estate transaction imaginable, and I’m very grateful for that experience.

Travis very quickly got a job with the county-wide mental health provider working at a group home, and I returned back to Maryland for another month to wind up my affairs. I moved up full time in September and started “telecommuting” to my law firm in Maryland. It was an exciting time, but also very stressful. We fought more than I care to admit, but we tried not to lose sight of what was important.

IMG_4929We split a lot of wood, too. We bought a few loads of dry and semi-dry wood for the coming winter, which we stacked, and then felled and split about 4 cords of wood for the next winter so it could dry out in the year’s time. Compared to some of our neighbors, it’s still not that much, but the process consumes a significant amount of time. Like they say though — wood warms you twice, once when you’re stacking it, and again when you burn it.

One of my favorite things was to see how Travis came alive working in the forest… I had never seen him get that excited about anything before we moved up here. He loved to find weird tree parts, like logs of spalted maple, and bring them back to dry them out or sand them down to see what the finished grain would look like.


Sometime after I moved up there, I also befriended the neighbor’s cat. And by befriended, I mean bribed with food. I named him Mr. Mustachio (technically it’s Monsieur Mustachio but Mr. works just fine by him).

I like to think he adopted me, but I’m pretty sure it’s just because my food was better than what our neighbors had to offer. Either way, he started hanging around a lot, and the neighbors didn’t mind my adopting him. He’s loving life here at the new house.

In November we went off-season camping in Groton State Forest. Boy was it cold, but we had the whIMG_5195ole park to ourselves! We had to hike in, too, because the park was technically closed for the season.I was wearing so many layers to keep warm I felt like the Michelin man. Such a crazy idea, but it was a lot of fun.

In December I realized that my telecommuting job wasn’t going to generate enough income to cover our bills, and I started studying for the Vermont bar exam so I could get licensed. From then until I sat for the exam in February,  I was clerking in a local law office by day, working remotely for my Maryland firm by night, and studying for the bar exam on top of that. Madness. IMG_5306

But wait, there’s more!  I adopted a giant rescue dog in January. She was supposed to be a therapy dog, but she’s the one that needs therapy. We named her Duchess.


I think she’s part equine, part Anatolian Shepherd. She is the quietest dog you will ever meet. She spooks like a pony, but she does have her happy-go-lucky moments where you can see a flicker of doggy spirit. She has a very low food drive and  gets home-cooked meals to supplement her kibbles… I think she eats better than I do most days. Training is interesting with a dog thatdoesn’t get excited about treats, or toys, or much of anything, really, but we’re working on that. I don’t think she’ll ever be a therapy dog for the world, but she’s certainly a great therapy dog for me. Mr. Mustachio adores her, too.

And we experienced our first mud season. Oh, boy! You have not lived until you’ve driven through almost a foot of mud, on an unlit road at night. Our poor little cars didn’t have the clearance to get through the muck for a few weeks, so we had to ferry ourselves back and forth with the truck and leaving our cars at a park and ride a few miles down the road.

We were not without sadness in our first year here, either. We lost little Paco very suddenly in the early spring; our family lost our beloved Shi Tzu, Scooter; my Grandma K passed away; and Travis has now had two deaths in his family. These things never get easier.

And, more recently, Travis has taken a new position within his organization that comes with significantly more responsibility. We’ve moved households (again) and I have accepted a job with a local insurance coming that starts in late August. Travis starts graduate school soon, and we’re going to be planning our wedding set for next June.

A lot going on to say the least. And what a year it has been!


Woodland Secrets in the Snow Prints

When the woods are bare, there’s little to be seen by an untrained eye like mine. But after a fresh snowfall, the forest really comes alive. All of its activity is etched into the fresh powder, like the words printed on the page of a novel. When I realized that there was way more going on in the woods than I ever anticipated, I started snapping photos of the prints so I could try to identify the animals that made them and learn more about what was going on.

wild turkey snow print trackSome of them are fairly easy, like wild turkey tracks. There’s a flock of about 10-15 hens that roams the area, and just the other day they were in our apple orchard scavenging. They’ve had a good winter because we did not get a lot of deep snow cover, and they’re social, so you’ll usually find multiple sets of tracks.  I love coming across their prints because it feels like I’m tracking a dinosaur and, in a way, I am. Did you know turkeys can hit a top speed of 25 mph on foot? Not too shabby for such an awkward looking creature, if you ask me. 

Tmouse snow tracks printshen there’s the little guys like mice and voles. You can quickly identify their tracks because of the teeny-tiny foot steps and the line that goes down the middle that’s left by their tail. A lot of times these little prints will come up from nowhere around the base of one tree, scurry scurry across the snow, and then disappear down another hole at the base of another tree (or under a log).

IMG_1369At first I thought the squirrel tracks were raccoon tracks because they have little claw-like fingers and the prints were spaced so far apart. But it turns out that squirrels use a dual-propeller action to leap along, so you’ll always have two tiny tracks close together (the front feet) closely followed by the larger tracks (the back feet) with spacings up to three feet apart if the little one is really cruising. I think chipmunks do the same. We have both in our woods, and they love to torment the dog.

Fox tracks are neat because they alternate steps, with the back paw going into the same print as the opposing front paw, so the result is almost a straight line. I read somewhere that this type of gait helps conserve energy in the winter because they’re using the same print twice instead of making a new one. fox prints tracks snow

And then the most interesting find of all was the five-toed foot prints that we came across one morning. I didn’t measure them, but they were fairly big, almost the size of my dog’s foot prints. My theory is that these are from a fisher cat, which is a member of the weasel family, but I’m not 100% sure. It could be also be a skunk. We’ve got both roaming the woods, to my knowledge. FotorCreated

All in all, it’s been quite an adventure learning about the snow tracks that the critters leave behind. If not for the snow, I’d have no clue how busy it was!

Of Corned Beef and Cabbage

I was tipped off on the pendency of St. Patrick’s day when I noticed in our weekly circular that corned beef was on sale. Though my days of Guinness-inspired revelry are well behind me, there is nothing like sitting down to a plate piled high with cabbage, carrots, and corned beef that’s been slowly simmering on the stovetop all afternoon. It’s always been a favorite of mine.

When I was looking through the ad I noticed there were two options for corned beef: flat cut and point cut. Other than the fact that the point cut was almost $2.00 less per pound than the flat cut, I had no idea what the difference was between the two. So I googled it. And I found this fabulous explanation:

What does this translate to in terms of dinner? Well, first of all, brisket comes from the lower chest of the cow and the meat can be pretty tough. As the photo shows, the point cut has a huge ribbon of fat that runs through it, which makes for fantastic pulled or shredded beef but not-so-good for slicing. It’s also pretty unappealing unless you just love chewing through large chunks of fat in the pursuit of corned beef bits.

The flat cut, on the other hand, is much leaner with fat that’s more evenly distributed throughout the muscle and thus better for slicing. Since I’ve always had my corned beef sliced, and we’re more inclined to dine on a leaner cut than a fattier one, we got the closest thing to a flat cut that we could find at the store.

Learning about the cuts of corned beef piqued my interest, and a little more poking around on its history revealed that corned beef and cabbage is not an Irish dish at all, but a distinctly American dish that was adopted by Irish immigrants who were looking for a substitute for their beloved bacon joints.  Mind you, they weren’t talking about bacon as we know it today, but were in pursuit of a brined and hefty cut of meat, like Boston butt or pork shoulder. Evidently, corned beef from the Kosher butcher fit the bill and the rest is history.

So, there you have it! Our beloved St. Patty’s day dinner is actually an Irish-American adaptation of a Kosher cut of beef. And it never caught on in Ireland, either. It’s very much an American thing, and that’s just fine by me.


My First Town Meetin’

This week I went to my very first town meeting. It might not sound like much, but it turns out that town meetings play a very important role in Vermont, and it has been that way for more than 200 years.

The town of Orange has about 950-ish residents, and I believe somewhere between 75-100 showed up for the meeting. Just like a scene out of a movie, the town hall swelled with the laughter and voices of people exchanging hellos and catching up with each other. I’m sure I stood out a little bit, not knowing anyone, but I was happy to grab a seat and take it all in. The meeting started with the crack of a gavel, and the town-appointed moderator called everyone to order.

Unlike in Maryland, where the schools and the operating budget are maintained on a countywide level with relatively little democratic involvement by the community, in Vermont these matters remain within the firm grasp of each township.

In our case, the county we live in currently has a budget of about $830,000 dollars, most of which goes towards the Sheriff’s department and maintaining the courthouses. The town of Orange, on the other hand, approved a $2.8 million dollar school budget, and another $800,000 or so for town operations. And that’s just for a wee town of 950-something people!

There are different styles for Vermont town meetings, too. Some use traditional floor voting with the crowd voicing ayes or nays to each issue. Others use what’s known as an “Australian Ballot” which is where the voting is done through polls and you can either vote for or against an issue, but unlike the traditional voting, there’s no wiggle room for amending or changing the proposal you’re voting on. Some towns blend both voting systems. Except Brattleboro, which is the only town in Vermont that uses a representative system where only elected representatives (known as “Town Meeting Members” ) are allowed to vote at the town meeting.

At our meeting, every issue raised is subject to approval by the body attending (us) and also subject to amendment and extensive debate. I quickly learned who were my most outspoken and opinionated neighbors! If the ayes and nays were “too close” a paper ballot was called and the group would submit their vote on a little piece of paper that was collected and counted by the Town Clerk.

The meeting started around 6:30 pm and ended at 9:00 pm on the dot. A success, you could say, considering that in years past the contentious discussion on the school budget has pushed the meeting as late as midnight. And while some moments were tense, the meeting was largely productive and civil; a true testament to the democratic process.

Winter Has Arrived

There’s a certain magic in the way time flies after Thanksgiving. Perhaps its the constellation of holidays that gives you a bright star to look forward to on that first Monday back in the office. Or, perhaps, its the return of Christmas music, in all of its cheerful sleigh-bell glory, which we binge on until New Years Day. There’s a certain timelessness, too, in the rituals we keep during the holiday season, be it decorating the house, hosting a dinner, or watching George C. Scott’s A Christmas Carol.

Scooter, the beloved family Shi Tzu, helps trim the tree

Scooter, the beloved family Shi Tzu, helps trim the tree

Here at our house on the hillside, the sun broke on bare, brown hills on Christmas morning. An unusual thing, according to the locals. And a sad one, to some,  although no one seemed to mind the mild 40 degree weather either! Until recently, snow came only in fits and spurts and never stayed around for more than a day or so.

And then the cold came.


What does Vermont cold feel like, you ask? It’s when the high of the day is a single digit, and if it gets into the low 20s, it feels like Florida. Or when you put wet cat food outside, and it freezes before the cat can wolf it all down. It’s so cold your ears go numb in your hat, and your feet go numb under two layers of socks and a set of boots. For us, it means that our wardrobes still need to be Vermont-ified, when it comes to this beastly winter weather.

Tree trimming is tough work! Time for a nap.

Tree trimming is tough work! Time for a nap.

It’s beautiful, too, make no mistake about that. Forests full of evergreens laden with snow are picture-perfect, and the long nights make for quiet evenings by the wood stove and a good night’s sleep.  I even tried out the snow shoes today in our woods! And I’m trying to learn the different animal tracks so I can see what’s roaming around in the snow.  (Mastery level currently comprises of the squirrel)

I’d like to say that with all of this wintery time, I would be churning up blogs left and right and imparting bushels of stories and photographs. But alas, I’m currently juggling work as a telecommuting attorney, a law clerk at a local Vermont firm, and studying for the Vermont Bar in February. It will be a very busy two months. Perhaps I’d best heed my own advice and take time to enjoy a quiet winter evening so as not to lose my mind!

3 Great Turkey Leftover Recipes

I shouldn’t be surprised how much turkey leftovers we had, given that our Thanksgiving dinner was for a mere party of two (2), but after the dust had settled and the smoke had parted, we still had a substantial pile of roasted turkey to contend with. So! I thought I would share my a pint-sized compendium of my favorite turkey leftover recipes.

  • Oprah’s Chicken Turkey Pot Pie with Cornbread Crust
    This one is an all-time favorite in our house, in large part because it is extremely forgiving and tasty. If you don’t have peas, use corn. If you don’t have potatoes, use squash. It’s such a great catch-all for leftovers and sad little veggies languishing in the crisper drawer.  Plus, if you can follow the directions on making the sauce and the cornbread, it’ll come out great every time. This was my first Thanksgiving turkey reincarnated.
  • Joy of Cooking’s Turkey Tetrazzini
    This one is what’s currently in our fridge, and boy is it tasty! I love the almonds and mushrooms, and any recipe that gives me a reason to open a bottle of wine is always good in my book. The funny thing is that, while we’ve  had a Joy of Cooking book in the house for eons, I only just learned about this recipe at a holiday party this past weekend when I brought up my plight of inundation-by-turkey-leftovers.
  • And of course, Turkey Noodle Soup!
    When all else fails (or at least looks like it’s almost past its prime) there is always soup. I love soup because I can use the carcass to make stock, and then throw in the less-than-pretty bits of meat pulled off the bird and any less-than-pretty veggies and it’s delicious!  Perfect for cleaning out the freezer or the fridge.

What’s your favorite Thanksgiving turkey leftover recipe?

Breaking with Tradition on Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving is steeped in tradition and in some ways this can be quite comforting. You may know exactly what you’re going to cook for dinner; or who will be sitting at the table. You might know which serving platters you’ll use, or which wine to bring if you’re not cooking. Yet, in other ways, tradition can be constricting. Dare you break up with your beloved cranberry stuffing recipe that’s served you so well these last ten years?

For us, it was equal parts honoring tradition as it was in breaking with it. We honored it with all-star recipes, and broke with it by having our turkey dinner on the day after Thanksgiving due to work schedules. And O, what a meal!

Keeping it local, we bought a fresh bird from Misty Knoll Farms  through our local co-op. Weighing just shy of 12 lbs, our turkey lived a good life pastured outside before meeting its dinner-bound demise. When it comes to cooking, I follow Alton Brown’s method, circa 2008, religiously. While the method has, without fail, set off every smoke alarm in the house every year that we’ve done it, I find the end result well worth the trouble.


We also made our beloved sweet potato soufflé, which Travis contends is a dessert, but my family has always proffered as a side dish, and roasted carrots and parsnips tossed with a honey balsamic dressing. At some point in the day I started on gravy, too, because that’s just what you do with those creepy giblets and neck. But alas! What were we to pour the gravy on? So that’s how mashed potatoes found their way on our plates, too.


Our compost bowl, always keeping tabs on our cookery.

In the spirit of home-cookery, this week Travis sent me a fantastic article in the Atlantic that I hope you check out if you have a few minutes.  It’s all about the myth of easy cooking and how the food magazine and media industry has built itself up on unattainable principles and outcomes, a byproduct of chefs adapting recipes from restaurants for home cooks and then calling them “easy.” The article gave me great perspective as I cooked my way through Thanksgiving preparations this week in that it’s never as easy as it looks, and it gave me permission to be more forgiving of myself as a cook.

For example, I have a love-hate relationship with pie dough. I can’t intuit when it needs another dribble of ice water, and I always make a mess rolling it out. This week, with my newfound perspective, I took the opportunity to give myself a big gold star each step of the way regardless of how it actually looked. So what if I rolled it into a shape that looks like something I drew in kindergarten? No one is going to see it under 10,000 calories of pie filling anyways!

My favorite insight so far though was watching a Thanksgiving-themed cooking show whilst wearing my new-life-perspective-on-cooking lenses. The meal this guy cooked up in half an hour looked fantastic — dressing made with bread from scratch, butternut squash gratin, smoked duck. How can you go wrong? But in watching the show, it dawned on me that watching a world where you can halve, peel, de-seed and chop up two whole butternut squashes in less than 5 seconds is like going to Disneyland. Just because you’re watching it with your own two eyes doesn’t mean it’s real! I don’t know about you, but it would probably take me the entire length of the TV segment to tackle two butternut squashes without losing any fingers.

So not only did we sit down to a wonderful meal (and a weekend’s worth of leftovers) but it was also an opportunity to reflect on the cooking itself and to appreciate how much time and effort it really does take to make a meal completely from scratch. And to remember that the joy is not just in the fifteen minutes it takes to wolf everything down, but the journey that it took to get there. thanksgiving dinner



The Fiasco of Car Registration in Vermont

Moving to a new state is complicated. Moving to a new state where you don’t know anything about how the state works is the fudge sauce and cherry on top of complicated.

I tried desperately to find a blog explaining the car registration process in normal-person terms before moving to Vermont, but no luck!  So I waded though it by trial and error.

As an insurance defense attorney, I am unabashedly persnickety about the banals of car insurance. In this particular instance, I knew that if the insurance company didn’t know I had moved, they could deny coverage if I got into an accident here. So after I moved in September, I did right by my insurance company and updated my mailing address. Click, click, click and it was done. Easy enough.

Then it was time for us to get driver’s licenses and register the cars. This took me three trips; the first time because we went with the intention of registering Travis’ car but were encouraged to come back with extra documents to avoid paying taxes; the second time to come back to pay taxes on Travis’ car because they couldn’t be avoided; and the third time to register my own car. Each time, I took the car being registered to the DMV because the employees will do the required VIN inspection right there in the parking lot.

Once the cars were registered, they have to be inspected within 14 days. And once I got the new tags, I needed to immediately mail back my Maryland plates to the MVA and cancel the Maryland registration. So the tags were sent, and the inspections were done.

All is well, right?


Two weeks ago, my Dad got a nastygram from the MVA regarding insurance non-compliance and an accompanying $150 fine. Thank god he was the co-owner of my car or I would never have known at all! The letter was only sent to him at our old address. Scary.

It turns out, when I updated my mailing address with my insurance company, the powers that be turned this innocent administrative update into an insurance cancellation with the Maryland MVA. For both of our cars. In other words, I was really looking at a $300 fine for the two week gap between when I updated my insurance and when the plates were received by the MVA. Yikes!

Fortunately, my insurance company, my Dad, and Travis, all helped me cobble together the documents that I needed to prove to the MVA that our cars had been continuously insured throughout the period in question. On Friday, I checked in and learned that my case was closed.


Just when you think you have all of your bases covered, life loves to throw a curveball.

Appreciating Presence on a Walk in the Woods

We’ve been enjoying some unseasonably warm weather these past few days, and last week I took the opportunity to go for a hike in the nearby Groton State Forest.  It’s actually a constellation of multiple state parks and different lakes and ponds, and spans more than 26,000 acres, making it the second largest contiguous land holding of the State of Vermont. It’s really beautiful. For this off-season hike, I chose Kettle Pond State Park.


Boat launch at Kettle Pond

Geared up and ready to go, as I set off on the trail, I couldn’t help but notice how much noise was still with me. My footsteps were noisy; my bag was noisy; my mind was noisy. I wondered to myself, “how can I be out in this pristine landscape and still feel like there is a TV on in the background?” My car was the only one in the parking lot, so I couldn’t point the finger at anyone but me.

I plowed on in this manner for another quarter mile or so until I finally stopped and paused for a moment. Only then, in my stillness, could I hear the quiet.

And what does quiet sound like,  you might ask?

It’s like taking all of your thoughts and sending them skyward in a celestial lantern.  Or like hitting the pause button on your feet and muting the sounds of your body in motion. It’s realizing that if something happened to you, it could be quite a while before help arrives, and it’s the space between the sounds of footsteps and the melodies of songbirds.

IMG_6225For me, I can sustain that level of presence for about 30 seconds before I see something that I want to photograph. I still have a lot of practice to do when it comes to being present. But on my walk that day, in my stillness and presence, I was rewarded with a scene featuring a brilliantly colored woodpecker inspecting a nearby tree.


Sooty Hygrophorous – A beacon of late fall

I realized that I would not have heard him if I had kept marching on, given that I sounded like Big Foot traipsing through the forest, nor would I have enjoyed his woodland debut if I had spent that time fumbling in my bag to get my camera and hustling for a photograph. Instead, I embraced the serenity of the moment.

The Lessen Learned from a Walk in the Woods

The lessen learned is that being present is really quite challenging, and until you are completely enveloped in quiet, you’ll never appreciate how much noise you carry around in your head, either.  When you slow down, you have time and opportunity to notice more, and you can dedicate your energy to being present.

IMG_6239Take this rock for instance. Cruising by, you might catch it in your peripheral vision and write it off as another mossy stone. But when you slow down, you’ll see that it’s not just a single layer of green on that stone, but a whole community of mosses and lichens, each with their own unique shades and textures that make up a velvety fabric across the rock’s surface.

There’s a fascinating study by Harvard-affiliated researchers that found that participants who took an average of 27 minutes a day to practice meditation and mindfulness exercises showed discernible changes in their brain structure after an 8-week period. Magnetic resonance imaging (“MRI”) studies showed an increased grey matter in the hippocampus (which manages self-awareness, compassion, and introspection) and decreased grey matter density in the amygdala (which manages anxiety and stress).

The key here is practice. It takes time and effort to develop the brain matter that we need to be still and present. It takes effort to mitigate the lingering effects of stress and anxiety.   Fortunately, it’s never too late to get started!

Kettle Pond Forest

Game on in Vermont

Vermonters are serious about their game. We’re in the midst of turkey season and bow season for deer just ended. Next weekend heralds the 16-day rifle season for deer. According to Vermont’s Fish and Wildlife Service, more bucks are killed per square mile in Vermont than anywhere else in New England.

What I find most interesting about the hunting culture here is the reverence its given. Most folks that I’ve met have been hunting since they were little kids. Ask anyone who hunts, and they’ll get a little more quiet, a little more serious, and tell you how much they love being out in the woods this time of year.

In Howard County, on any given day we would see anywhere from ten to twenty deer mowing down our lawn and eating the ornamentals. However,  since moving here, we’ve seen just one white-tail on our 17-ish acres of woods. Yep, you read that right. One. Even with our apple orchards laden with overripe fruit, I have yet to catch a single Bambi in the yard. I find this incredible.

Vermonters taste for game goes beyond the hunting season though — and this is where it gets really interesting.

Vermont is one of the few states that has a “pavement to plate” policy. Roadkill that’s deemed salvageable is picked up by the game warden and delivered to a local resident who has indicated an interest in receiving and processing the carcass. The independent paper, Seven Days, recently did a nice write-up about the role of local wardens in this less-than-glamorous operation.  As it goes, once you’re on the warden’s list, you’re bound to end up with a deer, bear or moose carcass on your doorstep at some point down the road (no pun intended).

In celebration of this roadkill cuisine and the hunting traditions of the state, the Hotel Vermont in Burlington is throwing a dinner this weekend, aptly themed “Wild About Vermont” which will feature a wide variety of… you guessed it… roadkill!

I’m sure they’ll sear off the skidmarks before serving anything….

I digress. The anticipated roadkill / wild  game menu sounds fantastic: moose ragout with wild mushrooms, black bear sausage with crabapple jus, grilled venison, and slow-roasted turkey with elderberry gravy. I’m sure it will be a dinner well worth the $75 meal ticket.

As it goes, our own little town is hosting an annual hunter’s breakfast next week and you can bet dollars to donuts that I’ll be there if I can! Scrambled eggs isn’t the same as moose ragout, but I’ll be happy to show my support nonetheless.